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Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church in Elma.
|• MP (Provencher)||Ted Falk (CPC)|
| • MLA
|Dennis Smook (PC)|
|• Total||25.59 km2 (9.88 sq mi)|
|Elevation||282 m (926 ft)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
Elma, Manitoba is a community of approximately 100 people in southeast Manitoba. It is located on the Whitemouth River, at the junction of Highway 15 and Highway 11 in the Rural Municipality of Whitemouth.
The area settlement was known as Janow, after the name of its post office. This was a name settled on between the store owner, John Giliewich, and the post office inspector. The preferred name Yaroriw was turned down as the inspector thought there might be difficulty with name. After the Railway was built the name changed to Elma.
Its name may originate from all the elm trees in the area, though it is more likely the name was given when the National Transcontinental Railway (a predecessor of the Canadian National Railway) was built through the area in 1905. It was common for small railroad towns to be named by the railroad engineers or other planners. Elma Station was demolished in the late 1960s and a small rail station (hut) was used frequently by people going to isolated cabins in the eastern Whiteshell and North Western Manitoba. NOTE: The Station Hut was removed in 2014 by Canadian Railways.
Its population is approximately 95 full-time residents. This grows during the summer as many people have small cabins for summer use. The Community Club is active and opens for private and community functions. Elma is central to a large recreational area. Agassiz Forest, Sandilands, Lakes of the Whiteshell, Snowmobile trails, and whitewater canoeing, kayaking, are all within a few minutes drive.
In the Fall of 2011 the RM of Whitemouth installed a municipal water pipeline (originating in Seven Sisters, 35 Kilometres away) for those residents who wanted it. The costs were to be shared between those people and a small government grant. Costs averaging 13,000 dollars per household. Installation costs, from street to a homes plumbing system are now $11,500.00.
Stats Canada showed, last Census, an increase of about 200 people settling in the Whitemouth area. Property in S.E. Manitoba costs are lower than areas to the North, North East and West of the City of Winnipeg. The town of Whitemouth, just a 7-minute drive from Elma, has several conveniences such as a clinic, dentist, pharmacy, hardware store, convenience store, school, RCMP station, Credit Union, Insurance Agency.
The biggest employers in the area are the Pineland Forest Nursery, Canadian National Railways, Sun Gro Horticulture Income Fund, and Seer Logging. Many residents commute to Whitemouth, Winnipeg or Beausejour for work.
There were several debates in the town over sewer and water being installed over the years. In 2010 a bid by the RM of Whitemouth was quashed by the courts. Most of the opposition was due to the large cost, on average 20,000 dollars per property, some as much as $100,000, under an updated Provincial Order in September 2010.
Plans for a Seniors Centre are still pending (2010.) Delays for this project are due to provincial requirement for a safe drinking water supply and an adequate sewer system. Residents hope, with the arrival of a fresh drinking water supply and promises from the RM to clean the area up, the town may rejuvenate and attract new people into the area.
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